Even though “The New Hollywood” as an organization is a group of women, we are dedicated to creating a community of like-minded, conscious, supportive people. Thus, TNH has started featuring incredible men who are up to big things in our Amazing Man Series! We are highlighting men who live with purpose, focus on giving back, and who are all around, well, AMAZING men.
TNH is excited to feature our next Amazing Man, Ash Kumra! Get inspired and get ready to dream big and feel alive!
1. Please tell us who you are and what you do? Who was/is the most profound male influence in your life and why?
I am an entrepreneur, broadcaster and agent of change to make the world a better place. My passion currently is DreamItAlive.com: an online global community, guiding users to create their “dream life” with scientifically proven visualization tools, dreamboards® and personal development content. I also host on DreamItlAlive.com a daily show featuring conversations with business leaders, authors, entrepreneurs and celebrities who have achieved their dreams and goals.
2. What other amazing men would you nominate? Why?
My dear friend Scott Lopez. You can learn more about him here: http://mentaltoughnessauthority.com/. He has a philosophy of being his most authentic self with everyone and it has had a profound affect on me. He also helped me re-affirm the need to be a “Conscious Man” 24/7.
3. Who was/is the most profound male influence in your life and why?
My father. He has taught me to live a life on what I am passionate and not to chase trends just because it pays well. He also is of the highest integrity.
4. Who is the most influential woman in your life and why?
It’s a 3 way tie with:
1. My mom for being a role model and showing me to never settle and to aim high.
2. My aunt, my mom’s sister, for showing me how to take a passion and be an entrepreneur around it.
3. My business partner on DreamItAlive.com, Anita Rani, for teaching me the importance of mindfulness, meditation and for introducing me and the world to DreamItAlive.com..
5. What is your personal motto/mantra?
“The world is yours. Make it beautiful and unforgettable.”
6. What advice would you give young men and women?
Be more present with focus on every activity. Be your best self by acting and doing things authentic. Do daily habits and rituals that elevate you. Live, Repeat, Share! #BeTheExample #DreamItAlive
7. What causes are you passionate about and why?
Besides DreamItAlive.com; I am passionate about entrepreneurship organizations that help people with resources to live their Dream calling. I am chairman of a large southern California based one called Tech Coast Venture Network!
8. How do you contribute to your community and why?
I do this by living an authentic life and leading by actions not just preaching it!
9. What is your definition of being man versus being a boy?
A man knows or is on his path to find their purpose, can accept constructive criticism and serves to make the world a better world.
A boy lacks this awareness and isn’t conscious enough to realize they need to become a man.
10. Any additional ideas, stories, or points of view that you feel will enhance readers on understanding who you are and what your purpose is please elaborate!
Please check out my Dreamboard to truly learn more about where I am in life and want to lead!
Ash Kumra is an award winning entrepreneur, author, public speaker and talk show host recognized twice by the White House as an entrepreneur making an impact. Ash is co-founder of DreamItAlive.com, a global community guiding users to create their “dream life” with scientifically proven visualization tools, dreamboards® and personal development content. Ash also hosts on DreamItlAlive.com a daily show featuring conversations with business mavens, authors, entrepreneurs and celebrities who have achieved their dreams and goals.
Ash is an authority on entrepreneurship, social media & branding by authoring the book series "Confessions from an Entrepreneur", spoken to over 10,000 people and has been cited in 100's of articles including Forbes Magazine, Huffington Post, American Express Forum, Entrepreneur Magazine, Startup America/Up Global, LA Times, OC Register, Tedx & The White House.
Ash is also Chairman of the board for one of Southern California's largest entrepreneurship education non-profit Tech Coast Venture Network ("TCVN"), Co-leader for the California Team for White House/Steve Case founded "Startup America" (now owned by Up Global) and on the leadership advisory board for the Clinton Foundation's 20/30 initiative.
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of the The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.
“Fear Finally Wore Me Down”
For years I’ve wrestled with my negative inner monologue: “Will I ever get my career off the ground?,” “Am I doing everything I could be doing to succeed?” and “If I have a baby now, will everything I’ve worked so hard for come to a grinding halt??” I was exhausted by these solo conversations and never felt like I was getting closer to a satisfactory answer.
But then, while attending a workshop about creating content on YouTube, I came up with the idea for my current show, “Does This Baby Make Me Look Fat?”. I was thrilled because in one fell swoop this show had the potential to combat all my fears at once: (1) it’d be a great calling card, (2) I was creating my own work and (3) having a baby would actually enhance this project! When has anything been this easy? And as soon as I finished patting myself on the back for being possibly the smartest, most creative person alive…
…My brain immediately exploded with all the new fears that I hadn’t even thought of if I pursued this project.
These fears basically boiled down to the three things listed below that I had to overcome (and continue to overcome) in order to move forward with creating my own work. I hope they resonate with you as well, as I think they are fears that have the potential of holding all of us back as we try new things and take risks when pursuing our careers.
1. Quality Control
Recurring scene at Stephanie’s house: It’s Monday night at 11:45pm and Stephanie is finalizing an episode for tomorrow’s posting. She turns to her husband, again, and asks, “You’re sure this isn’t a total piece of crap?”
It goes without saying that we want everything we do to be up to our high standards. But there’s a delicate balance between striving for the best…and never getting started. Which is exactly what I did... I sat on my “brilliant” idea for the show for an entire year. Yep. A whole year of thinking about it everyday but paralyzed by the fear that I would never be able to make it good enough. It wasn’t until I was totally exhausted by my fear, and out of valid reasons to delay starting, that I finally sat my butt in a chair and wrote my pilot episode. All my fear finally wore me out.
And I still struggle with the fear of not knowing if an episode is “really ready” on a weekly basis. I’ve never kicked back after an upload and said “Steph, you’re a genius!” But at some point you have to move past the fear of it “not being good enough” and being okay with “eh, it’s probably good enough.” There is no perfect, just progress.
2. Overcoming Technology
Recurring scene at Stephanie’s house: Stephanie half-heartedly messes with the aperture setting on her camera and quickly concludes that if the automatic setting can’t make the shot look good, it’s probably not worth shooting.
You would think I was born before 1950 by the aversion I have to leaning new technology. And when I started my YouTube show I knew absolutely nothing about how to get it done. I didn’t know which camera to buy (let alone how to work it), if I needed lights, which editing program to use, how to upload a video on YouTube, etc.
I feel like fear of the unknown, especially when it comes to gadgets and software, is something so many people struggle with once they decide to create their own work. But here’s the beautiful thing I learned when I started my show: You don’t have to know how all that stuff works to get it made!
The truth is, you only need to know the bare minimum to get started. Learn from my mistake: I knew I needed to learn the basics of editing for producing my show. So I decided to take a four-day class to learn Avid (the editing program that most major blockbuster films are cut on). What. Was. I. Thinking?!? A free two-hour, online tutorial could have taught me iMovie – which would have been more than enough knowledge to get me started. So much of what we need to learn is just the bare minimum and we’ll always be able to find someone to guide us on something we don’t know. Los Angeles is literally busting at the seams with talented people who will shoot and/or edit your stuff for free or very little money. We all need to start somewhere.
So get over the fear of technology ASAP. It’s rarely as bad as you think it will be (and even if it is, you learn from it), there are plenty of people to consult if you don’t know what you are doing (Google being the best resource) and nowadays software is so easy to learn that it’s actually even easy(ish) for the technologically petrified.
3. Personal Exposure
Recurring scene at Stephanie’s house: Stephanie is about to post another episode that discusses sex and thinks to herself, “Maybe my parents will just forget to watch this week.”
The personal exposure element of my show was the toughest thing to wrap my head around and I was worried about the subject of the content. People are so guarded about their fertility and the early stages of pregnancy – wasn’t this a dangerous road to go down? YES! I still can’t believe I signed myself up for this…
However, whatever fears I had about overexposing my reproductive health (“what if I can’t get pregnant?” “what if I have a miscarriage?” “what if people HATE hearing me yammer on about myself week after week??”) were far outweighed by the fear of sitting on a potential comedy goldmine and doing nothing about it. So in a very un-me like way, I had to throw up my hands and just say, “Whatever happens, happens.”
And then the craziest thing happened - instead of feeling totally overexposed in a negative way, I saw my audience grow because of the sensitive subject matter. I set out to just put out funny material, never fully realizing how much it would resonate with women and couples who were trying to get pregnant. With everything I feared, the opposite came true. Which goes to show how much we can let our imaginations run wild about the worst that could happen, and don’t spend enough time thinking about the best case scenario instead. Ultimately we all have to expose ourselves with our work, no matter the subject material. Which means we have to really “go there” in order for people to perk up and actually take interest.
And believe me, I still deal with the fear of overexposure as my show is in it’s second season (and I’m still not pregnant). I have no idea what is around the bend (and maybe everything really will come to a grinding halt when I have a baby – though I certainly hope not.) However after producing this show for nearly a year, I now have this quiet certainty that whatever I’m faced with I’ll be able to handle it.
Pushing through ones fears is easier said than done and I continue to struggle with it every day. But if we let our fears stop us, that will all but guarantee that our biggest fear will be realized – never having the career we want. No one came to this town because they planned on playing it safe. But hopefully if you are like me, giving into the exhaustion from your fear will be the last step before finally getting the work done.
TNH is always honored and thrilled to feature other organizations up to amazing ventures. This one stands on its own. We received a letter from a TNH follower and supporter, Nate Lombardi, who is asking for our support and awareness. I think all of us can relate to feeling alone, and this movement surely aims to create support, love, and a solution for all those who experience bullying. Feel free to share and to support!
Dear The Sisters of The New Hollywood!
Nate Lombardi from The Groovy Projects here! I am so thrilled and inspired by you and Brianna for using your influence to make the world a better place. It is one thing to use goodwill for publicity through your agent, and completely another thing to seek out opportunities to enrich and enlighten your peers, fans and future generations.
The Groovy Projects is a character development/anti-bullying organization that creates artistic and life-changing experiences with entertainment professionals. Through community building and soul-searching activities such as music videos, short movies, writing lyrics, theatrical games, photography, drawing, beat-boxing and body percussion, we allow students to discover that they are each special, and have the power to make everyone around them feel "Two Inches Taller." By involving students in these interactive programs during their formative years, the goal is to give students perspective on what type of person they want to become in the future.
We are very proud of all the things we’ve accomplished so far, but it’s clear to see that we have a long journey ahead of us at the Groovy Projects to become an institution to bring the change we hope to the children nationwide. Students need to be given the tools to stay emotionally healthy at a young age! We are trying to to build their immune systems before it's too late. Putting a band aide on a broken soul when they are in the middle of adolescence is too late!
We have a great start and a lot of allies in the industry in New York City. Jennifer Maloney-Prezioso is a Tony and Emmy Award winning Producer is my partner. Our friends on Broadway have been incredible. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=175586712643961&set=vb.135501356652497&&theater But we need your help and support! Your TV reach is so vast and powerful!
The Groovy Projects range from one-time assemblies to a whole year program resulting in an empowering Groovy Celebration where we premiere their music videos, movies, art work, raps, photos and poems.
Here is a teaser of us working with elementary schools:
Here's our the photo shoot with the City Council at the Museum of Tolerance in February! We could organize one with your women and allies as well. The students are so influenced by people they see on the TV and in movies.
Really hope to meet each and every one of you so I can thank you individually for all that you do!
An Excited Nate Lombardi!
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of the “The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.
TNH loves to support women entrepreneurs, living their dreams and making a difference. Check out guest blogger, Molly King, as she shares how she broke down the walls of fear and completed her first novel. Not to mention she is a badass woman who is an inventor, dancer, and travels the globe helping people achieve their goals, create a life they want, and have fun doing it! She’s a stellar example of a woman who walks the walk she talks!
How I Beat Resistance
By Molly King
As Steven Pressfield describes it, resistance is the impersonal and universal force that keeps us from doing our craft, and we have all come into contact with it. It comes as the voice in our head saying we’re no good, that our work is no good, and who would want to read/watch/listen to something I create? “It’s already been done before. Who am I to think that my version would be any different or better than something that’s already out there?” We all have these voices masquerading as our own thinking. But it’s not us. It’s simply resistance.
And I’m here before you as someone who’s had a very volatile relationship with resistance over the last few months. Between publishing my first book, and putting a west coast swing routine on the floor at the US Open Swing Dance Championships in October and November of this last year, I’ve become very well-acquainted with the voices of resistance.
“This book sucks. Who’s going to read this!? Who would be crazy enough to even want to read this crap? I don’t even want to publish this anymore” (Actual thoughts that were happening two days before I hit publish).
“Shit. I’m going up against the best dancers in the world in two days. Who do I think I am, entering the Classic Division? I can’t even make it to finals in my Intermediate competitions—do I just secretly suck at dancing? What’s wrong with my dancing? Why do I even try anymore? I feel so incredibly foolish for even being here. And my family is flying out for this… ugh. I just want to sleep through this weekend, and wake up and have it be over” (Actual thoughts two days before I stepped out onto that floor and danced our routine with my partner, Andy.)
Thankfully, even with this inner monologue clogging up my otherwise-normally-positive outlook on life, I was able to both hit publish, and step out and perform on the US Open Swing floor. And executed both to relative success, I should add, and to even more personal success.
The thing is, with both scenarios, I also got to experience what true healthy “detachment” felt like. As any artist knows, we can get so intertwined with our work, to the point where we feel that it not only represents us, but we can even get to the point where it can feel like it defines us, and will continue to define us for the rest of our lives. Thankfully, I’ve found that this doesn’t have to be the case.
Gratefully, before both big moments, I found a sense of peace by exploring the worst-case scenario: “Who the F cares anyway? What if I do write an awful book? Then it won’t sell. And what if I place last in the Classic Division at the US Open of Swing? You know what? We did! And I’m still alive, and kicking!” The point is, while we are certainly in relationship to our results, I am more interested in the actual going-out-there-and-actually-doing-it than the wondering, getting anxious, and not doing anything side of life.
One of the major takeaways that I’ve gained from both of these experiences is that I’d rather be in the game, than in the sidelines—no matter what the score is at the end of the game. In the game of life, we don’t get points for perfect books left unwritten, or beautiful manuscripts that only live in our imagination, never seeing the light of the printed page.
If we can realize that there is no way to get “great” at something without first being “average” or “intermediate,” then these titles won’t destroy us along the way. Praise last place! At least I was on the dance floor! That’s closer to first place than I was last year while I sat in the stands! Here’s to the mess ups, the “failures,” the “I’ve only lost 7 pounds,” the “It only sold 50 copies.”
Those are the marks of resistance losing its grip on us, slowly but surely. And as Steven Pressfield notes, the more we feel resistance, the more we can be sure of its value. Because good work draws strong resistance (kind of like how I resisted writing this blog all day and ate more than my daily allotment of Hershey Kisses in the process). And each time we're victorious over those limiting beliefs and the bully inside our head, we create a storage bank of demonstrations, proving that what we thought was impossible...is actually possible. And then we can exercise that anti-resistance muscle again, applying those same principles to the next area of life that seems insurmountable in order to create more art. The fact is, you’re on the path. This IS the journey. Each step/page/audition/pound lost counts, and makes you better for it. Don’t disparage it because it’s not amazing yet, that’s what editing and rehearsing and practicing are for. We do the best we can in each moment—that’s all we can ask for.
So what’s the short answer to battle resistance? Take action.
Action kills resistance while analyzing feeds it.
So perhaps you feel the fear and the worry, take one step forward anyway. Book that dance class. Write the outline for the manuscript, and don’t let yourself on social media or out of the house until it’s done.
Believe me, as one who’s now sitting on the other side of Book #1, and my first trip to the US Open of Swing—resistance doesn’t go away. But the deep satisfaction that comes from being tear-streaked, exhausted, and covered with dust and dirt at the end of the long fight with resistance, makes the victory so sweet. And I’m excited to get in the game again (and again, and again).
Molly King, of St. Louis, MO is an Accountability Coach, Author, and Inventor. Her new book, Don't Settle, is now available on Amazon: http://bit.ly/dontsettle-mk
http://mollyking.com and www.facebook.com/themollykingpage
*Please note that not all experiences, beliefs and ideas are shared by each member of the “The New Hollywood.” We are a group of shepherds, not sheep.